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“Ok, but not 5 star”

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The Residence Mauritius
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Belle Mare
Certificate of Excellence
SW London
Level Contributor
95 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Ok, but not 5 star”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2007

I'd had good feedback on The Residence from a colleague, I'd read lots of reviews (on this site and others) and my travel agent spoke highly of it. So it was a 9 night stay I was looking forward to.

I am fortunate enough to experience luxury establishments across the world and although this was a nice hotel, i think it fell short of its claims to be a 5* luxury hotel.

On arrival, the impression is a good one, a nice colonial style building and lots of attentive staff which make the check in process easy.

The check in formalities out of the way, you are led to your room, which for me was disappointing. For a supposed luxury hotel, i thought it was very basic - you can't switch the air con off fully, for instance- (although the bathroom was nice).

Much is made of your 'personal butler', from unpacking your luggage, to running you a bath. This is not something that really excites me but did the butler do anything other than turn beds down in the evening? To be fair he did run my wife a rose petal bath which was very good apparently.

Positives.

The staff are very helpful, courteous and polite. Although I am not too keen on people wanting to hold my daughter and walk away with her given what has happened in Portugal recently. (she is 20 months old). I simply put this down to being an over protective father with a very western idea of how strangers should behave with children, so said nothing. I am convinced their intentions were good ones.

The beach is stunning and the staff there and the pool are very attentive to guests' needs. Even the beach hawkers leave you alone after a polite 'no thank you'.

Kids' club and kids' food.

Although I had to accompany my daughter to the club because of her age, I thought the set up was excellent with lots of activities and toys etc. Judging by the fact that other parents with older children were happy to leave them there too, suggests this was the case.

The restaurants were very happy to cater to our daughter's (fussy) eating needs...from freshly made purees to whole milk for her bottle.

the buffets are excellent and the seafood buffet and the last meal we had at the Plantation at the end of the holiday (the menu du jour) were nothing short of excellent. (The waiters there are also very very friendly and courteous)

Negatives.

I thought the restaurant food was too rich and too fancy. As someone has already said, it leaves you wanting 'normal' food. I think they go overboard on the 'frenchness' of it....very fancy and not a lot of it. I longed for a bowl of pasta, or a risotto or whatever..

Also, the chef uses Dill far far too much. He/she must realise that it is a very strong herb.

Cost of drinks/food.

From soft drinks to wine, ridiculously over priced. How can they justify this?

The lunchtime menu more expensive than London or Paris. Three sandwiches (no drinks) just shy of £25!!!!

We ventured to the local town to see what was on offer there but again you get the feeling that you are merely seen as 'tourist flesh' so you tend to get ripped off for everything. We certainly were for some baby food.

Overall it was a nice, relaxing stay, weather was generally good (a couple of days rain), the staff were very attentive and friendly but I don't believe that this is a true 5* experience.

The hotel was very very quiet during our stay as they are about to commence a refurbishment so it will be interesting to see what the feedback is after this.

  • Liked — Beach/sea and friendly staff
  • Disliked — Expensive food/drink
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank R1der
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Winchester England
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2007

We stayed here the second week of a two week trip and definitely saved the best for last! Accommodation, service and food was wonderful from the moment of arrival when your entrance is marked by ringing a bell with a drink and cool hand towel supplied by immaculate staff. You could easily chill out and not do anything at all with attentive staff outnumbering guests with wonderfully prepared snacks and meals available, all beautifully presented. Fruit snacks and lollies plus cool hand towels were brought round by the pool daily late morning. There was also a management cocktail party held weekly to introduce the managers and get guests mingling. It has a very old colonial feel (in the nicest way) although it it very chic too and is run by a French manager.

We were especially lucky as the hotel was not at full capacity after the Easter break and at the start of a run down to a soft furnishings refurbishment through the next few months (not that it looked as if it needed it anywhere other than a few bar stools. There are many tempting and comfortable places to sit scattered around the public rooms and the gardens had some well tended and interesting planting. The only real disturbance was a party of Frenchmen who were only staying for three days who got into Karioke mode one night into the early hours which was a bit annoying and very unexpected at a hotel of this calibre with mainly families and couples resident.

You can have breakfast on your balcony for no extra cost and feel really pampered. We preferred the main restaurant to the Plantation, which does a few buffet themed nights during the week. We chose to be completely spoiled and waited on each evening (mainly as we'd been mainly buffet the first week and wanted a change) it was probably more like a night at a Gordon Ramsay or Aldo Zilli's, with ingenious dishes of the best fresh and quality produce and plenty of choice. there was a generous allowance for those on half board which meant that going A La Carte was not an expensive option and generally covered two courses without extra cost. One evening I had a main course in the Plantation which was really highly salted and therefore inedible. This was sorted out immediately by the manager of the restaurant in our favour just as a result of the waiter enquiring about my leaving it when clearing the dishes - pity it spoiled my dinner, but it was compensated by good follow up service without the need for a specific complaint.

On the activity side there are tennis courts, pool and watersports, including waterskiing and snorkling out near the reef, with beaches which stretch for miles in both directions allowing long unhindered walks for those with enough energy, plus a village about 5 miins walk along the road outside the hotel. Beach traders seemed to set up beachside shops rather than accost you on a regular basis which was much better for all concerned and we had no problem with sellers on any of our walks. The beaches are busy (and get quite narrow at high tide) as there are other hotels adjacent but swimming was safe and it was sand so you don't need shoes. The Belle Mare hotel next door was in the process of extending onto a site between the two hotels where there used to be a villa but there was no noise or disturbance from that and rooms in that wing were not occupied just in case it caused annoyance!

There are two terminals for Internet access (which is free and includes a printer) and will save you a fortune if you need to keep in touch with work or family or check in online for your return journey.

This is the ideal retreat for chilling out, there is some entertainment in the bar (piano) most evenings if you want to go in search of it, but no disco's or real partying unless you make it yourself. Not the place for party animals or if you don't like being outnumbered by staff. It's expensive but we found it worked out good value overall and worth every rupee for the experience!

Our one and only criticism relates to our departure, which was early in the morning and where we feel the hotel fell down slightly just taking the edge off the experience in our case, as if we no longer mattered. We left our luggage in our room rather than wake everyone up dragging it down the corridor at 5am only to find the reception deserted. In the end my husband went back to the room to get the cases and only encountered help when the lads cleaning the hotel reception floors took pity on him (having looked on bewildered for some time and unsure what to do). I don't think they'd ever seen reception empty before, or been needed to help in this way, judging by their reaction, so we were obviously just unlucky that our wonderful stay ended on a slight negative. The staff must have known what time we were due to leave so it was an error that the reception staff was missing but fortunately we had checked out the previous evening so were not badly inconvenienced.

Recommended for a pampering stay and special occasions.

  • Liked — very restful and pleasing to the eye
  • Disliked — concrete floor to corridors
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Wistful100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2007

briliant hotel set on a beautiful beach. lovely weather, food, rooms,
staff, all excellent butler service 24 hours a day, we got married at the hotel it was a dream! brillant childrens facilties, nannies, kids club all included. very high class

Stayed August 2003
Helpful?
1 Thank slotty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2007

The first glimpse of the hotel and you know you are in for a treat. Then the smell hits you - some aromatic concoction that transports you into holiday mood! We were greeted with ice tea and quickly taken
to our room. What a room! It was bigger than our London flat! Even better we had a private Butler to attend to all our needs. We had the obvious honeymoon fare - champagne, flowers and fruit but all of it was very high quality and beautifully presented. Plus we got a nice beach bag, t-shirt and sarong.

For the rest of the holiday that first wonderful impression didn't leave us. The service was exemplary, you only needed to ask for something once and they would remember for next time. However Mauritians are laid back - so don't get worried if your drink doesn't arrive within a minute! The little touches are what made it for me - hot lemon towels on the beach to freshen up, followed by fresh fruit and lemon ice lollies to keep you cool; an exquisite easter egg brought to our room to celebrate the festival(free of charge); a romantic dinner served in our room, surrounded with flowers, candles and rose petals... I could go on and on.

The buffets were spectacular - not only was the food very high quality it was really abundant as well. However if you eat from the a la carte menu everything seemed to be served either as a trilogy or with foam, you found yourself longing for something plain. The food and drink was really expensive. Nip down the road to get water and snacks. There are very few restaurants in the area so unless you go further afield, you have little choice in not paying those prices. However it is a luxury hotel and you wouldn't get the most out of the experience if you worried about your credit card bill.

The surroundings and beach were beautiful, however we did succumb to cabin fever and hire a car for a few days. Be warned Mauritius is beautiful but it can get monotonous. Sugar cane field after sugarcane
field; and if it's a cultural experience you're after then it's not the place for you. It is very westernised with very little in the way of architecture. Port Louis is worth a visit, the waterfront area is very much set up for tourists but the rest of the city is authentic.

We had been on safari first and this hotel was just what we wanted for the second part of out honeymoon. I would whole heartedly recommend it to anyone wanting to escape from the norm.

  • Liked — service
  • Disliked — lack of nearby restaurants and cost
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ChaChaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
madrid
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2007

This is truly an excellent hotel. We had stayed once at this hotel when it opened in 1999 and had wonderful memories of it. So this time we did not know if it was going to reach our expectations (maybe a bit distorted because of time). Again: the place was great.

The rooms are spacious and immaculate. We had a bath prepared by our butler every evening.

We found food excellent. They have two restaurants: the Dining room and the Plantation. The first one is international food (French type) and the second has more of a Maurician touch.

As we are not much into sweet food we liked the Dining Room better although the setting of the Plantation (right on the beach) is much nicer.

They have thematic buffets several times a week. We went to one and we liked it but, we prefer to be served by a waiter so we tried to avoid them for the most part.

As we had half board you can either have a menu of the day that changes every night or use a 1,600 ruppees credit and order a la carte and if necessary pay the difference. We did this many times and since I usually don't take dessert unless I ordered lobster we did not have to pay. Not that it would be a big deal to pay for a dessert, but I just am not much into sweets.

For lunch they served light meals in the Dinning Room by the Pool, in the Bar or you could order them at the beach itself. We found the quality of food excellent and the prices are not so high. We ate a couple of days in the Dining Room and the attentions were remarcable: Different type of breads to start (even a pizza bread, with olive paté..) One day we were even given a small sample of a lentil soup.. (and we had only ordered a hamburger...!).

Since some days it was Easter they started a buffet for lunch and it looked excellent but we never took it as after a big breakfast we could not eat so much for lunch and then have dinner.

Breakfast is very varied and you can order it in your room at no extra charge.

There is free internet and dvd rental.

Beach service is very good: you are given cold water, fruit and sometimes they come with a cold towel to make you cool down.

We had two minor complaints:

One was with the concierge: they arrange us a day trip with a taxi driver and when we got back the driver wanted to charge us more than the concierge had said. We did not want to pay and went to the concierge but the person in charge was different and basically did not do anything about it. It was a very unconfortable situation as we did not know what was going on and it looked like we did not want to pay the driver. In the end, just to avoid embarrasment we payed it all. We wrote a letter to the hotel management and they apologized and even give us a little present. We thought it was very nice from them, everybody can make mistakes.

The other complaint was the phone: we could not manage to get a call through to Spain.

But, as I said, really minor issues. The hotel makes you feel in Paradise and the service is excellent. If anyone needs more information I will be deligthted to give it.



Somedays, since it

  • Liked — the service
  • Disliked — the price. It is a bit expensive
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank chipirrina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malvern,England
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2007

I cannot recommend this hotel enough,it was just wonderful.
The staff are so friendly and helpful(as are the people of Mauritius generally).
The rooms are gorgeous with a smell of ylang ylang everywhere.
The butlers attentitve but not intrusive.
The pools and beach are gorgeous and there are plenty of activities on offer(many free too).
The food was lovely (my husband is a chef so...)and there is a good variety.Even vegetarians are well catered for.The breakfast buffet with all the beautiful fresh fruit is a must.Try the Dining Room for everyday fare and the Plantation for the themed buffet nights.
Wine is quite expensive but hardly Scandavian standard expensive.It's to be expected with imported produce though.The local rum on the other hand is divine and inexpensive.Ask the barman to make up a lovely rum cocktail!The beer is good too.
You can always venture to the nearby village for supplies also.
I too arrived at the tail end of the cyclone but cyclones are to be expected in Mauritius during their summer.They don't last long and then it's back to normal.It most certainly did not ruin our holiday.
The east coast of Mauritius is more breezy than the west but I feel this takes the edge of the humidity nicely.It was still incredibly hot regardless!
We will definately be returning and hopefully very soon.

S.L.Murphy,Malvern,England

  • Liked — Service
  • Disliked — That I had to leave it!
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tattoosarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cotswolds
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2007

We travelled with two small children, aged 1.5 and 4.

We thought Mauritius was divine and The Residence a lovely hotel.

However at our time of travel (July + Mauritian winter) it was very windy, too windy for small children to enjoy much time at the beach. Also the pool area is very exposed and the major drawback - no heated pool, which believe me you want at this time of year. Barely anyone used the pool at all, bar some hardy scottish kids and sadly my children didn't swim once which was something we had really looked forward to.

The kids club thankfully was great even if I wasn't expecting to use it quite so much: plenty of activities, screen time was available but sensibly restricted. Our younger child required an accompanying babysitter because of his age but this was easy and Gini was wonderful and very sweet and caring. In the evening our baby monitor was sufficient but this may depend on your room location and your monitor.

I would guess that my gripes will not be a problem if you go Chritsmas/ Easter time, in fact the pesky wind will become a highly welcome cooling breeze. Key tip: when & where going enquire prevailing wind. So if going to this side of the island in our summer time pay attention to layout/protection from wind/heated pool or simply go to the other side or south end of the island.

Otherwise everything wonderful!

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
7 Thank awesomefoursome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Residence Mauritius

Property: The Residence Mauritius
Address: Coastal Rd, Belle Mare, Mauritius
Location: Mauritius > Flacq District > Belle Mare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Belle Mare
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Belle Mare
#2 Family Hotel in Belle Mare
#2 Luxury Hotel in Belle Mare
#2 Spa Hotel in Belle Mare
#3 Business Hotel in Belle Mare
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Residence Mauritius 5*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Residence Mauritius is situated on the east coast of Mauritius along a mile-long beach of immaculate white sand, fringed by the azure Indian Ocean and tropical gardens - an idyllic retreat for your unreserved relaxation. Inspired by the island's stately turn-of-the-century plantation houses, this luxury Mauritius resort blends modern elegance with classic, colonial style that envelops you in an endearing sense of nostalgia. Live like royalty in rooms that radiate luxurious comfort and charm, with attentive service worthy of the grand colonial houses of yesteryear. Dine on exotic cuisine that captures the incredible potpourri of island flavours. Discover new secrets to soulful relaxation within our serene spa sanctuary, and an endless playground of attractions and activities to be found in the island's unique mix of cultures and stunning landscapes. Whether you seek a romantic escape with your loved one or a spectacular beach getaway with your family, The Residence Mauritius will enthrall you under the warm glow of the Mauritian sun. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Residence Hotel Belle Mare
Residence Belle Mare
Residence Hotel Belle Mare
Residence Mauritius
The Residence Mauritius Belle Mare

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